Last Updated Jul 1, 2010 3:54 PM EDT
But don't give up. You might find a better way by reading my MoneyWatch colleague Linda Stern's recent post Money Can Buy Happiness: Here's a Shopping List. She cites research on the relationship of money and happiness, and she lists several ways to deploy your money wisely to increase your happiness.
It turns out that most of her list doesn't involve spending much money. I've long contended that what people really want is to be happy in their retirement years. They don't necessarily need to duplicate their current lifestyle, which is implied by the conventional financial wisdom cited above.
So think long and hard about what makes you happy, and then figure out how much annual income you need to get this happiness. Now when you back into the retirement nest egg that you need, you might find you don't need a gazillion dollars after all. And if you have to work a little to make ends meet, you might still find ways to be happy.
So this weekend when you're barbecuing and spending time with your friends and family, reflect on whether you want more of these moments in your retirement years, and how much they might cost.